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Canada's high-flying juniors fall to earth

Smaller companies that push at the frontiers of technology and geology are going bust

Canada's junior oil and gas companies were once the darling of the North American upstream. Innovative and nimble, smaller companies were known for applying new technologies to new unconventional resource plays like oil sands and shale gas. Now the sector lies in ruins. According to the Alberta government all indicators are pointing to the worst year for bankruptcies since the 1980s bust. On 26 September, Calgary-based Lightstream Resources became the latest casualty after it obtained court protection under Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA)-the equivalent of Chapter 11 in the US. Formerly known as PetroBakken, the company was an early pioneer in the underdeveloped Saskat

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